Sunday, January 26, 2014

Our Man in Tehran - Canadian view of Argo

When I saw the movie "Argo" win Oscars last year, I must admit I laughed.  Yes, I had seen the movie, but yes, I also remember the events depicted in the movie very clearly.

Now, comes a documentary "Our Man In Tehran."

Reveals new information about the true story of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor and the CIA, the secret dealings between the US and Canadian governments to rescue six fugitive American diplomats, and the covert planning of the military rescue "Operation Eagle Claw" during the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979.

 From a review of the documentary: 
When Canada was helping six American hostages escape from Iran as part of the famous Canadian Caper — a designation that is recaptured in the documentary Our Man in Tehran — the RCMP forged Canadian passports for the Americans.

The documents were then sent to Washington for fake visas. When the passports arrived in Tehran, a member of the Canadian consulate noticed that the American officials, apparently confused by the Iranian calendar, had put the wrong dates on the visas.

It was a mistake that could have resulted in death for the hostages as they left the country under the cover of phoney Canadian citizenship. The passports were returned to the U.S. for corrections, and the rest is history.

It was history American-style in the Oscar-winning film Argo, which glorified an American plan to spirit the hostages out of Iran by pretending to be a Canadian movie crew making a Hollywood blockbuster.

Argo was itself a Hollywood blockbuster, downplaying the role of Canadians in the operation and adding a lot of drama — such as a fictional race to the airport and a hair’s-breadth escape — to make it exciting enough....

Read more on this review.

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